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Debi Marshall Investigates Frozen Lies



Debi Marshall Investigates Frozen Lies


Tuesdays from 24 September - 8.30pm Channel 071

40 years ago, Adelaide was rocked by the sensational murder of criminal lawyer Derrance Stevenson.  19-year-old David Szach was found guilty of shooting his lover in the back of the head and sealing his body in a freezer.  However, for four decades, David has always maintained his innocence.  Now, with his appeal about to be heard, David wants investigative journalist Debi Marshall to re-examine his case and what he claims is a gross miscarriage of justice.  
Debi has made it her life-long mission to fight for justice after she helped track down the killer of her own partner in 1992 – an emotionally raw and confronting story that is serialised across this series.
At first glance, it’s easy to see why the jury found David Szach guilty.  His fingerprints were found all over the freezer, gunpowder residue was on his hands and he appeared to flee the crime scene, driving 900 kilometres through the night to the outback town of Coober Pedy in Derrance’s prized sports car.  But David claims that he was set-up, the lawyer was killed because of sinister business dealings and that flawed forensic evidence sealed his fate in court.  
Over five episodes, Debi drills down into every detail of the case, beginning with David’s strange actions on the night of the murder.  With the help of FBI-trained criminal profiler Kris Illingsworth, a disturbing picture begins to emerge of Stevenson’s double life.  By day he is a respected criminal barrister, but come nightfall, could he be a part of a sinister paedophile ring?
Just how far did the lawyer’s nefarious activities reach?  A clue lies in the identity of a young man who claimed to have seen Derrance on the night of the murder.  That young man was shortly found murdered himself, the first known victim of The Family Murders.  Could it be that Derrance Stevenson’s murder is linked to one of Australia’s most depraved killing sprees?
Debi leaves no stone unturned in her search for the truth, interviewing senior police, private investigators and David’s childhood friend.  She goes behind bars to interview the only person convicted for just one of The Family Murders – Bevan Spencer von Einem.  She is the first journalist to speak with him in 30 years. Debi is successful in overturning decades-old court suppression orders to reveal for the first time some of the identities of von Einem’s cohorts. From the sleepy, suburban streets of Adelaide she travels to the dusty opal town of Coober Pedy and ultimately the Adriatic Coast of southern Italy to track down the only other person who holds the key to what happened on that fateful night in 1979 – Derrance’s close friend, partner in crime and the man charged as being an accessory after the fact.
Having combed through every detail of the evidence, Kris makes a stunning discovery that turns the case on its head.  She restages the crime scene to reveal in shocking detail how Derrance was killed.  In an emotionally-charged final interview, Debi puts to David the extraordinary results of her 18-month-long investigation.